Gender & Social Equity

It is a fact that a person is more likely to be economically poor if she is a woman and/or an indigenous person/member of minority ethnic group, practices a minority religion, comes from an isolated geographical area, was born into a low social status (caste, bonded labour, etc), is young or very old, or lives with impaired health. Being economically poor tends to be strongly correlated with being socially disadvantaged – that is, experiencing social discrimination and powerlessness. At HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, we not only strive to promote broadly beneficial development, but we also seek to work specifically with the most disadvantaged individuals and groups living in our partner countries. It is for this reason that gender equality and social equity is a cross-cutting theme in our organisation.

In promoting gender equality and social equity in our field programmes, we are also attentive to the example set by our partner organisations and by ourselves. We thus seek to partner with organisations that share our broad organisational values, and to build their capacities with regard to gender and social equity if appropriate. Internally, we strive towards a gender balanced, strongly socially aware workforce, and are committed to having a minimum 30% women or men in our Management Committee and Board of Directors.

Blog posts from Jane Carter

21. February 2017

Building back better in Nepal: prioritising disadvantaged individuals for training

The road to Dolakha district from Kathmandu is a familiar one to me, but one that I have not travelled since the earthquake wrought its destruction nearly two years ago. Bumping along it, the glint of metal in sunlight catches the eye. In place of mud-washed or lime-washed houses, corrugated iron seems omnipresent – not...
09. January 2017

Focusing on the most vulnerable in Madagascar

Madagascar is a country of rich biodiversity and stunning natural beauty, but also of deeply entrenched poverty, especially in remote rural areas where basic services are often poorly accessible. Indeed, in some of the areas in which we work, such as those covered under the Münsingen programme, nearly everyone can be classified as poor. Using...
23. December 2016

The power of numbers: Women in local governance in Bangladesh

Given the low level of women’s representation in local, regional and national governments, quotas are used in many countries to boost numbers. And the number that has come to be most widely chosen seems to be 30%, or 33% – seen as the “critical mass” needed to sensitise public opinion to the acceptability – indeed...


  • Jane Carter

    Gender & Social Equity Coordinator To profile